Live for tomorrow and reap the riches of yesterday.
In the Pacific Northwest of America, a colony of survivors eke out a living in the tucked away town of Carousel. Built upon ruins, the small shanty town barely warrants a star on any map. There is little symmetry to its design with buildings of clay, tin, and wood placed haphazardly along the dusty lanes in an eclectic fashion. Homes are shared, as safety comes in numbers and their numbers are small. As in all towns, there is a central hub, the area where people come together to vie their goods, trade, and celebrate. It is within this area of commerce that the story begins--in a dilapidated tin shed, barely standing and featuring home brewed moonshine, ale, and mead.
The Crazy Coyote was busy that evening, most tables filled to capacity and a haze of smoke choking the fetid space. In one corner a card game was in session, the participants laughing and smacking the table with enthusiasm as they called for more ale. Everyone was talking, joking, sharing stories--the level of noise leaving a hum in the air. A lone harmonica player stood at one corner of the bar playing a tune that no one heard--his gnarled fingers tapping a beat on the wooden surface of the bar. Liddie, the bar-keep, stood behind the bar, her full figure swaying to and fro as she tried to keep up with the demand.
It was in the other corner, farthest from the door, that Ezra-Rayne sat and observed the activity, her booted feet occupying the chair opposite hers. She gulped the last of her moonshine from a smoky glass and pushed at the contents of a stew which sat before her, uneaten, the glop barely edible and the meaty contents unknown. She rose a bit unsteadily, pushing her chair in, and made her way to the bar for another. Raising her hand to get Liddie's attention, she was surprised to see the barkeep's eyes suddenly widen in shock as she turned towards the door.
"The Jackal has entered the Coyote," Liddie stammered barely above a whisper.
Ez managed to read her lips, but scrunched up her face in confusion. She turned to see what had startled the woman and noticed the tall shadow that filled the entranceway. It was the cowboy hat and long coat that gave him away. None other than Jackal Lawless, she thought. His reputation preceded him in most towns and Carousel was not an exception. Ez, feigning disinterest, took her drink from Liddie, the woman's mouth now hanging agape as she stared at the newcomer, and returned to her table. She sipped her drink, trying to pace herself and laughing inwardly at the quiet that came over the bar as the man entered. She observed him, peering over her glass as he spoke to Liddie. To her surprise, the barkeep pointed in her direction and he began making his way over to her.